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Full text of "A history of Persia"

ENVELOPMENT OF PERSIA          465
must now turn for a while to the affairs of Afghanistan.
Sultan Ahmad Khan, after being secured in his govern-
ment, protested strongly against the occupation of Farrah
by Dost Mohamed Khan, which had been effected in 1856.
Great Britain declined to interfere, and in 1862 the Herat
ruler took advantage of disturbances at Kabul to expel
the Afghan garrison. Dost Mohamed almost immediately
took the field and after recovering Farrah marched on
Herat. In May, 1863, he effected its capture without
great difficulty.                                        5'
Sultan Ahmad had died during the last weeks of the
siege and Dost Mohamed survived his triumph only a
few days. The Persian Government had viewed the
presence of the Amir on the borders of Khorasan with
concern and were dismayed at the fall of Herat; but
with the death of Dost Mohamed the menace passed
away. At the same time, in Afghanistan as in Central
Asia, the political situation had changed to the distinct
disadvantage of the Shah.                       :••
The Makran Boundary Commission, 1870-1871.—We
must now turn to the advance qf the Indian Empire. In
the first half of the eighteenth tentury Baluchistan had
been constituted a province of Persia by Nadir Shah, and
in 1739 Nasir Khan Brahui was appointed Beglerbegi, or
Governor. Upon the assassination of the Great Afshar,
Nasir Khan at first acknowledged the suzerainty of
Ahmad Shah, but later on asserted his independence.
After his death, in 1795, Baluchistan reverted to chronic
anarchy, being divided among a number of chiefs who
raided Persia and fought among themselves. Under
Mohamed Shah Persia began to reassert her claims, and
through the instrumentality of Ibrahim Khan of Bam
district after district was annexed. In 1864 Sir Frederic
Goldsmid, who was the first Director of Telegraphs in
Persia, found that west of Gwadur there was no settled
authority to deal with ; and it speaks highly for his
capacity and tact that the telegraph line was ever com-
pleted and worked. It thus appeared desirable, not only
from the point of view of telegraph construction and
maintenance, but equally in the interests of the protected
VOL. II                                                                               2 H